Top Waterfront Sightseeing in Cartagena

Cartagena is a Caribbean destination filled with historical sights and 400 years of stories to tell. History never gets old, but is time to take a gaze at the modern Cartagena, its urban development and the beautiful Caribbean ocean.

Modern Cartagena

You will feel in a completely different city. A big red double-decker, hop-on hop-off bus is the perfect method of transportation to drive through El Laquito, Castillogrande, and Bocagrande; the main prosperous neighborhoods surrounded by the most beautiful Caribbean bay and ocean.

City surrounded by water. City surrounded by water. By Google Images.

 

 Outside Cartagena

Tunnels in Los ManglaresLos Manglares. By Google Images.

10 minutes away from the city you will find nature’s creations; labyrinths of mangrove tunnels filled with many different animals, and that represent a natural treasure for the region; Los Manglares (the Mangroves), a place which not only oxygenate the water, but your mind.  Discover its incomparable beauty and stunning wildlife; Birds that have formed their hidden place in those forests as well as numerous fish.

Species in Los ManglaresBird species in Los Manglares. By Google Images.
Volcan del TotumoVolcan del Totumo. By Google Images

Just 45 minutes by car discover the therapeutic powers of a rustic mud baths in Volcan del Totumo (Totumo Volcano). Take your water shoes and a swimming suit if you are willing to be healed. Hike up the handmade stairs of the steep volcano and dive in the nature’s most pleasant feeling. At first you’ll feel kid for dirty, but remember, it is just mud. Let your body loose in it, and don’t try to swim, there is no need to. The mud is thick and supports your whole body in a way that you will feel literally out of space; gravity free. Feel your skin revitalizing and the incredible view evaporating your thoughts. Play with the mud and go back couple of years… Let your inner child out.

Playing with the Mud inside the VolcanoPlaying with the Mud inside the Volcano. By Google Images.

The experience do not ends there. When you are ready and the mud is getting stuck to your body descent down the stairs. A native from the region will be waiting for you to give you a bath. Remember, you already left your shame inside the volcano, is time to get pampered. Be ready for the most extreme bath inside the ocean that you have ever taken.

In the Caribbean Ocean

View From TierrabombaView From Tierra Bomba Island. By Google Images.

Start with Isla Tierra Bomba, just 5 minutes away from the city. You would be amazed by the Castillo San Fernando de Bocachica (San Fernando de Bocachica watchtower), once destroyed by British troops who attacked the Spaniards, and rebuilt in 1753, on the ruins of the Castle of San Luis de Bocachica.

CCastillo San Fernando de BocachicaCastillo San Fernando de Bocachica. By: Google Images.
Archipielago de BarúArchipielago de Barú. By Google Images.

Archipielago de Barú (Barú Archipelago) has beautiful white sand beaches, clear waters, passageways surrounded by mangroves and coral colored. It can be reached by land across the Canal del Dique (Dique Canal) from Pasacaballos, or as for a better experience of the never ending Caribbean ocean, travel by water across the Bay of Cartagena.

View from Archipielago de Barú.View from Archipielago de Barú. By Google Images.

Time to eat; my menu suggestion for a characteristic Caribbean lunch is fresh fish, coconut rice, fried plantains and a typical coconut dissert.

Islands surrounding the Rosario IslandIslands surrounding the Rosario Island. By Google Images.

I cannot stop recommending a at list a full day trip to the as Islas del Rosario national park (Rosario Island). Book a boat ride and just 28 miles you will be delighted by coral reefs, crystalline waters, and beautiful beaches. For a complete experience tell the pilot to take you for a drive through the small islands surrounding the Rosario Island.

Islas del RosarioIslas del Rosario. By Google Images.

Make a last stop at the Isla San Martín de Pajarales you will find El Acuario San Martín (the Aquarium), swim with a dolphin or enjoy its show and look down the surrounding dock, where you are standing, and witness multiple marine species.

Dolphin-Aquarium-cartagenaDolphin in El Acuario. By: Colombia travel.com

These are two full days of waterfront sightseeing of the Caribbean ocean surrounding Cartagena, and its healing, and peaceful experiences.

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Best Business Hotels in Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias is an ideal destination for business tourism. This beautiful city is not only the number one Colombian tourism destination, but is the city that holds most of the events: congresses, conventions, and incentive trips in Colombia. Cartagena is currently ranked the number one Colombian business destination in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), above Bogota, Medellin, and other main cities.

This type of events are usually linked to a hotel venue, but let me guide you through the 3 best business hotels in Cartagena de Indias to make sure you’ll be staying in the right place.

Located in the modern sector of Cartagena de Indias, the Hilton Hotel is one of the most traditional, yet professional and corporate hotels you will find in the whole city. Staying in this chain hotel will assure that you are in a 5 star hotel, not only because of its amenities, but because of its convenient location.

Hilton Hotel.Hilton Hotel. By: Google Images

The hotel features 341 guest rooms and suites.  If you are staying in its Executive Tower, then you are for a great treat. These are the best hotel rooms; modern and have direct access to the Executive Lounge which offers a panoramic view of the city.

Suite at Hilton HotelSuite at Hilton Hotel. By: Google Images

If you decide to stay in the hotel and dine in, Hilton offers a variety of restaurants that captures the flavors of Cartagena. Visit Las Chivas Restaurant, Pizza Al Forno, or Bar El Cangrejo (The Crab Bar), no need to go out for night entertainment.

Las Chivas RestaurantLas Chivas Restaurant. By: Google Images

Las Americas Beach Resort, a family friendly hotel 15 minutes away from downtown, is another great option to stay, especially if you want to do business or just get away from the city buzz, and enjoy the relaxing Caribbean experience by the sea. Don’t get me wrong, this is also a business friendly hotel. They have a corporate Tower called Torre del Mar (Ocean Tower) which will keep you from any tourist distractions. Even though, you still have the option to join the party if you want.

Torre del Mar (Ocean Tower),Torre del Mar (Ocean Tower), Las Americas Beach Resort. By Google Images.

The corporate tower is also on the on the Caribbean shore with a private Convention Center and offers executives working with all the comforts of modern life, arranged for recreation. Their exclusive pools of endless beauty to the Caribbean ocean is the perfect spot to take a break.

Pool with a beach viewPool with a beach view. By: Google Images

There is no need to get out of these amazing installations; work, and relax having fun at the pool and private beach. After this experience, just be sure to visit their spa fora a complete revival of your body and senses.

Private Beach at Las Americas Hotel.Private Beach at Las Americas Hotel. By: Google Images

 

Hotel Monterrey is conveniently located steps away from the main Convention Center. This 3 star hotel is not only more affordable, but walking distance to the Convention Center (if you have business there), and walking distance to the Historical Downtown.  Find the better of these two worlds; if you are a business traveler that does not mind staying in a 3 stars, yet historical hotel.

Hotel MonterreyHotel Monterrey. By: Google Images

Consequent with local architectural traditions, this hotel is located in an elegant republican building. With only 30 rooms beautifully decorated highlighting the Spanish legacy, experience a historic private stay.

TerraceTerrace. By: Google Images

On the hotel’s terrace you’ll be delighted by the best views of the walled city. I suggest spending an evening with your significant other or by yourself. Just enjoy the view and let y the history of Cartagena de Indias talk to you.

Evening at Monterey’s terrace.Evening at Monterey’s terrace. By: Google Images

Even though you are traveling for business and sometimes work can be overwhelming, do not forget that Cartagena de Indias is one of the Caribbean best kept secret destinations, ready to recharge you energies.  Make sure that you do not stay in the hotel and discover its magical history, tasty food and vibrant rhythms.